MORE DISTURBING POSSIBILITIES ON EGYPTIAN MUSEUM LOOTING
A few days ago, the following disturbing article was posted by Judith H. Dobryzinksi on her blogsite:
A Leaked Inventory of Missing Items from the Cairo Museum
Ms. Dobryzinski states that she received this leaked list via reliable sources from inside the museum itself. There are, to my mind, two very interesting things about this.
The first of these things is that one could be reading an almost exact repeat of the Baghdad Museum looting, for the list of missing objects is precisely that, a list of missing objects, in other words, ancient art. We are not told, as Dr. Hawass himself told in the link referenced in my blog of yesterday, of missing texts. So we appear to be dealing with the looting of two very different sorts of things: objects of art, and texts, and in this, the pattern is all too eerily reminiscent of the Baghdad Museum looting. There too, we were told incessantly about the theft (and recovery) of objects of art, and next to nothing about the possible theft (and possible recovery) of cuneiform tablets.
In this, the reporting of the Egyptian lootings is somewhat different, for we have Hawass himself to thank for apprising us that at least some of the stolen objects were "inscribed blocks," i.e., texts.
The article also suggests that Hawass and the American University of Cairo were somehow implicated in these thefts. That allegation has been echoed from within Egypt itself from numerous quarters, and Hawass' lack of popularity within the alternative community has not helped his cause in this regard.
But I must own to a great deal of difficulty with the view that he may have been involved in such looting personally. For one thing, it is hard to see what benefit the theft of such art objects could possibly be to someone of Hawass' fame and notoriety. It would be virtually impossible for him to "fence" any stolen items nor receive any financial reward for it. He has, in short, almost everything to lose from such an action, and almost nothing to gain. If he was involved, in other words, I can only conceive it to be either through some sort of hidden duress and coercion, or by dint of some sort of "frameup" of Dr. Hawass as the fall guy while others made away with the goods. On the latter view, someone would very much want Dr. Hawass out of any position of influence over Egypt's antiquities. Just who that might be and why is anyone's guess. But nonetheless, for me, the difficulties of Hawass' alleged involvement with the looting remain.
All this raises the question of why some, both inside of Egypt and the turmoil there, and far removed from them, would be so eager to try and tie Hawass to the looting. Though it is only an intuition and nothing more, I sense that there is much more going on here with the lootings, and the emerging pressure on Hawass, than meets the eye. This is not a story that will resolve itself quickly, and we should, with that in mind, not leap too hastily to try, and condemn, Hawass when the facts themselves are so threadbare, and when the facts themselves, with a little thought, would reveal the difficulty of tying him to the lootings. We need more evidence than we currently have.
All that said and done, I cannot dispel the feeling that there is much more going on here than meets the eye, and that deep agendas may possibly be in play.
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I doubt very much Mr. Hawass stole anything for financial gain.
His love of these things- indeed, all things ancient Egyptian-
and his reputation would keep him from selling them, they are priceless anyway. IF Mr. Hawass took anything, it would be for their SAFEKEEPING, for return when the Muslim Brotherhood folks were out of power.
I THINK THE ELITE TOOK THEM FOR THEIR OWN NEFARIOUS PURPOSES. After all, who’s going to set up in the “Temple” in Jerusalem without this stuff?
There are a number of ways to view this – Hawass is innocent; is pressured to be involved; or is actively involved with consent.
It could be more factional infighting in the elite – he was one group’s “man,” and now he’s out of the way as another group rises up to take the important items for themselves.
There is plausible deniability in that he already had access to the items, so why help steal them?
He could also be seen by more radical Muslims as being the “bought dog” of evil Western powers, and they could be using that split as leverage.
He could also be moving toward a far less public presence, and the problems and dark cloud of his possible involvement just a ruse to enhance that fade-out.
Perhaps he might even be on the outs for something done or said in private to the elite which would never see the light of day, but still was sufficient to ensure his fall from grace.
I would argue that Hawass would be the perfect person to fence stolen items. Who else would be so close to them? Better chance of them being the genuine article than procured from some unknown character.
As for the lack of data on the “inscribed blocks” stolen, how big were these things? I would think that thieves would go for shiny, valuable and the least heavy items they could cart off. Unless someone was paid to cart off specific items.
I guess the jury’s still out on whether he’s “good” or “bad”. Having heard Carmen Boulter’s stories of the stops and barriers she’s experienced while researching in Egypt, I’ve got to question the motives of a guy who builds a 12 km wall (and armed 24 hr security) around the Giza area and has strange nighttime activities with heavy equipment…
Yes, I never believed for one moment that, if Hawass was guilty of any looting, that he would do it for financial gain. I mean, doesn’t the guy get enough royalties from all the TV shows they replay of him constantly on the History and Discovery Channel?? But I WOULD believe that he has engaged of looting of tablets because he is WORKING FOR some elite group. At the time the special new Cabinet post was created for him, didn’t we opine that the sudden new job was clearly a directive of some elite overlord of Mubarak? Also, just because he has “resigned” from his post doesn’t mean he no longer has access to the Pyramids. My guess is that his job has “transitioned” into a new phase and that control of the real estate has also “transitioned” to that clever elite group out there who has, or is on the brink of, “figuring it all out.”